A new Vietnamese sandwich shop called Bánh Appetit is scheduled to open in late May or early June at 171 Cumberland Avenue, in the former home of Ten Ten Pié bakery.

This will be Tuyet Thi Le’s first restaurant, but she comes from a restaurant family. Her mother has owned Huong’s Vietnamese Restaurant at 267 St. John’s for 18 years. Le and her sister have helped run Huong’s for the past five years, Le said. Not long ago, Le’s sister purchased Pho Co.in the Portland Public Market from their uncle, Hoang Nguyen, and changed the name to Pho Huong. Nguyen recently announced he and his wife, Chau Du, are opening Melting Pot Variety at 158 Spring St. in Westbrook, which will serve a mix of Vietnamese foods and traditional convenience store foods, such as pizza and Italians.

“I’ve been helping my mom quite a while, and I’ve always had a love of food my whole life,” Le said. “I thought it might be time to start my own business.”

Le said that in addition to serving traditional bánh mi, she’ll offer special versions of the popular sandwich weekly, probably on Fridays. Also on the menu will be banh bao, steamed buns filled with ground pork, cabbage and wood ear mushrooms; and banh pateso, a savory puff pastry filled with ground pork, mushrooms, onions and paté. Le said she also plans to offer a main course option every day, such as a stir fry with soup and white rice.

Meanwhile, Atsuko Fujimoto, the former baker/co-owner of Ten Ten Pié, is selling her Asian-influenced creations wholesale to local restaurants under the name Norimoto Bakery while she looks for new retail space in Portland. Sichuan Kitchen is selling her desserts, and Boda recently posted a photo on social media of her shokupan buns — the very tender, very fluffy and increasingly popular Japanese white bread.

 

 


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